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Old 23-08-2008, 06:19   #31
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Good result in the end, bravo.
While many think this is just par for the course with officialdom in "third world" countries obviously haven't had the displeasure of interacting with Australian consulates overseas. Much the same sort of crap and corruption.
I have a Vietnamese wife whom I met during extended stays in Vietnam and I have experienced hell dealing with the public "servants". I will even go so far as saying that they pull foriegn currency exchange scams with both Vietnamese and Australian nationals. In one instance they were overcharging by about 25% for gazzetted fees. I had it explained to me some time later by an ex official. I was warned that if I ever complained back home any future dealings I may have would make my experience look tame by comparison.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely

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Old 23-08-2008, 06:53   #32
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Nice job!

But what would have happened if you just left in the middle of the night without the nonsense? Were you prohibited from going for a sail?
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Old 26-08-2008, 09:27   #33
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jzk,

If they are going to treat him in this manner while doing nothing wrong. How do you think they will treat him when they catch him breaking the law. Not a gamble I would want to take unless my life depended upon it....WHEW......GET OUT!
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Old 26-08-2008, 09:28   #34
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jzk,

If they are going to treat him in this manner while doing nothing wrong. How do you think they will treat him when they catch him breaking the law. Not a gamble I would want to take unless my life depended upon it....WHEW......GET OUT!
Was he allowed to "go for a sail?" If I were being treated like that, I might just go for a "very long sail."
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Old 26-08-2008, 16:55   #35
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That's GREAT NEWS!!!

Hope you're safely out of Ecuador!!

Please give us an update when you can.
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:36   #36
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hi Drew ,this manuela from el velero feliz are you still in salinas ,can you give me a fone or write me to manuelavaldes@felizdelavida.com we are with our boat feliz in salinas as well ,we met you in march 2007 ,please write me wea re travelling on the 30 of september ,saludos lmanuela
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Old 07-09-2008, 18:16   #37
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Drew
Last year this time I did some work on the cable tv system in Guayaquil. I had a local guy for translating, driving, general do what ever I needed. It might be helpful to have a local to help you out with things. I paid him $25 a day. If you want his number send a private message.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:28   #38
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John, you are correct and the only reason I haven't dropped my pants and unloaded in the middle of the port captain's office is for future cruisers.
This made me pee my pants from laughing. Thanks for keeping us posted on this story; I'm rooting for you and getting a great insight. I can't wait to read the rest of this; hoping it all works out and there is a post on here in the next few weeks from Marquesas.


Yeah! It worked out. Keep in touch!
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Old 03-03-2009, 00:09   #39
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Sounds like you had an epic!
We also have a boat in Puerto Lucia that will have been there 7 months by the time we get back to it early April.
Any advice as to what we might do to avoid your tribulations
THanks
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:57   #40
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god, i wish you the best of luck.

you should log into the southbound group at yahoo groups and start asking questions. galo ortiz from PLYC monitors that group and there are other owners currently in libertad on there as well. the laws have changed again and from what i know you now need an agent.

Drew
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Old 03-03-2009, 16:34   #41
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Dear Content,

I cannot speak for Equador, but here in Venezuela you are allowed to extend your stay up to a maximum of eighteen months in six month periods. If done within the time frames, no problem... a formality and a $20USD fee. Outside of the timeframe you have problems. Therefore I would suggest that you read your Equador permission very carefully and telephone the yard where you boat is located and confirm present procedures. If it is like Venezuela then normally the yard can arrange the extention quite easily. If not then your boat is liable to be held by the customs and tax will be due on its value.

Latin America IS NOT THE PLACE TO BE WHEN YOU HAVE BROKEN A LAW OR OVERSTAYED YOUR PERMITTED PERIOD. Check now with the yard by phone, fax and email if still within the period. If not ask their advice as to a licensed agent to work the process for you and keep your fingers crossed. You may get lucky although it will cost you more than necessary had you worked within the period allowed.

Best Regards

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Old 04-03-2009, 14:33   #42
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I've been reading this thread with great interest and would like to make a few comments.

1) In deference to Evan's comment, regarding intl. maritime law, all countries have requirements which foreign vessels must meet, when entering/exiting or transiting their waters. While these laws are normally for commercial shipping, they are often applied to all foreign vessels. For instance; if I want to travel by boat from Vancouver, Canada, to Seattle, USA, I must clear U.S. Customs & Immigration. When attending their office, my vessel must meet their standards. Though holding tanks have not yet become a requirement in Canada, They are required in the U.S., so if I don't have one, I'm screwed.

2) Having built a couple of fishing boats in the Philippines & having sailed on an aussie's boat from Darwin to Davao, I've had similar experiences to Drew, and then some. Countries are rarely interested in making things easier for the foreign cruiser/traveller. If in a country where under-the-table bribes are the norm, pay them, it'll usually cost you less in the end. The time to register an official protest is after you've left that country. The higher you go, the more it'll cost. The officials of your own embassy couldn't give a damn about you, unless you have a life-threatening situation.

3) If Drew answered the question regarding whether, or not, he was free to go for a day-sail, I missed it. If one must gamble on just sailing away, I'd suggest that they book into a really cheap accomodation, with the room paid up for at least a week past when he/she plans to attempt to run(get a receipt & carry it with you). daily local sails, prior to their run should be in ever widening arcs. Defeat GPS system, etc., so that , if caught, you can play the "I'm just some dumb foreign sailor who doesn't know where he/she is" role.

4)The last time I lived in the Philippines, I overstayed my visa, by about ten months. I thought that my "balikbayan" visa had been officially filed in Davao. When I tried to fly to Canada, viaHong Kong, from Manila, I was stopped at the airport, arrested, & taken to the Bureau of Immigration. There was an older American being held, as well, for overstaying. Basically, they wanted 4,000 Pesos to let me go. As I only had the money for my flight, I was screwed. I explained the situation, stuck to my story, was very apologetic, sucked it up &, proverbially, kissed their asses. I was eventually released. The older American kept screaming things like, "I'm an American Citizen, you can't do this to me!" Last I saw, he was in a jail cell. Don't know how long they kept him, nor what it cost him, but I'll bet it was significant. I've never met an immigration or customs officer in any country, including the U.S. and Canada, who didn't think of him/herself as Mr./Ms. Cool. The easiest way to win them over is to stroke their egos & tell them that, when you return maybe they'd be interested in going into business with you. Ask them for contact details for this same reason. It works for me, everytime. As I had done some work for my embassy while in the Philippines, I could easily have contacted the Charge d'Affaires. But I didn't because it would have pissed my keepers off & there's nothing worse than a pissed-off Customs/Immigration Officer with a gun!
That's my 2 bits.
Mike
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Old 14-04-2009, 03:27   #43
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Well, I’m planning to go from Panama to Chile with a stop in Puerto Lucia, Ecuador and Peru……..

I see that I will enjoy Myself !
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Old 14-04-2009, 03:33   #44
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I also will send this to the tourist department in Ecuador gov.
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Old 14-04-2009, 05:08   #45
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I think these words from Bangkaboat are very wise indeed. As a person who has lived most of his adult life in a country with a corruption problem, I can tell you that it is very important to distinguish between cases where you are really in violation of some law, and cases where you are not. If you are truly innocent, then SOMETIMES it makes sense to put on your righteous indignation and insist on your rights. I can't tell you when -- it's subtle and complicated. I can tell you, however, that when you are in the wrong -- righteous indignation and disrespect for their laws (no matter how stupid they may seem to you) is NEVER the right response.

The right response, rather, is to choose that person who is of the lowest level with enough authority to solve your problem, and kiss his a**, and beg for forgiveness and/or help, suck up to him, and stroke his petty bureaucrat's vanity and love of weilding his petty power. Sometimes -- I speak from personal experience -- this works so well that your problem might be solved for free. The other ways of solving bureaucratic problems in such countries are (a) following the letter of the law, paying all of the fines, etc.; or (b) getting an indulgence for cash; or (c) both.

The mentality of these guys is that it is YOU that have a problem -- you violated some law or regulation. If they use their power to help you out of your own problem, then this is a service outside of what they get their salary for, and they have every right for some compensation for this. This does have its own logic and my strong advice is that you should accept this logic, showing gratitude in whatever way is demanded -- your attitude should be "What an idiot I was; I'm sorry to have created this situation. Maybe you could help me out?". If the "gratitude" demanded is out of proportion to the situation, then you just have to politely negotiate. This is a deal like any other, and should be approached from the point of view that it should be mutually beneficial.

If you show DEFIANCE in this situation -- then you'd better have a good supply of KY Jelly on hand, because you're going to get it in every orifice. They will consider it their moral duty to make your life as miserable as possible, to (a) put you in your place, showing you the incredible majesty and glory of their power over you in this particular situation, which you have failed to appreciate so far; (b) soften you up for the next round of negotiation. I can never understand why Americans in a foreign country are so often willing to show defiance to public officials there, who would never dream of doing it to, say, a cop back home. In fact, the mentality -- the fundamental mentality of a petty bureaucrat -- is exactly the same in Ecuador as it is in America. Fortunately there is less corruption (at least on the street level) in the U.S., but do you think for minute that you will not get yourself into a world of trouble by showing attitude to a cop in the U.S., when you are wrong? If you train yourself mentally to treat foreign officials just like you treat cops back home -- you will be far along the right path.

Overstaying a visa, as in Bankgaboat's post, is a great example. Why just a couple of weeks ago, an American friend came through the former Communist country where I presently live. He had failed to check the dates of validity of his visa and arrived a day before his visa came into effect. He was detained at passport control, and was made to fill out a new visa application, pay a fine, etc. (no corruption, though! progress!). He missed a connecting flight as a result of the approximately 3-hour delay. He was incredibly outraged; published pages of vitriol in the Internet about this sh***y country and their bloody arrogant bureaucrats . . . Jesus, what did he expect? The U.S. demands visas from most foreigners, and I don't think a Bulgarian, say, would get through American passport control in 3 hours with an invalid visa. He would be on the plane back home, I suspect, and would probably be treated less than politely. It seems to me that we Americans, at least some of us, fundamentally disrespect the laws of other countries. This is a huge mistake; it shows astonishing arrogance.


When you are RIGHT, and you are being falsely accused of some violation, this is a different situation, and it is hard to give any hard and fast rules on how to behave. One of the problems with corruption is that it creates the temptation to INVENT problems in order to extort bribes. If you are in this situation, then the rules above do not necessarily apply. You are dealing with a criminal extoration situation and you'll have to decide yourself how to behave. Sometimes it's better to pay -- if it's petty, or it's a situation which would be impossible to get out of otherwise, for example -- and sometimes it's better to fight -- when for example they are assuming that you are completely ignorant and helpless, and you sense that showing knowledge of your rights might make them back off.


One last footnote: be sensitive to the fact that taking bribes is illegal most places, and even in really deeply corrupt places like Latin America your low-level bureaucrat can get in a lot of trouble if he is seen taking a bribe. It is not in your interest for your guy to be nervous that he might get caught -- it will increase the price. So be very, very discreet, don't discuss it directly, and don't discuss it even indirectly in front of witnesses. If you show a little consideration for him in this regard, it will help encourage him to show a little consideration for you. Remember -- most of these guys will consider a bribe to be a kind of consulting fee -- honestly earned for doing something on your behalf which is outside their usual scope of work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bangkaboat View Post
I've been reading this thread with great interest and would like to make a few comments.

1) In deference to Evan's comment, regarding intl. maritime law, all countries have requirements which foreign vessels must meet, when entering/exiting or transiting their waters. While these laws are normally for commercial shipping, they are often applied to all foreign vessels. For instance; if I want to travel by boat from Vancouver, Canada, to Seattle, USA, I must clear U.S. Customs & Immigration. When attending their office, my vessel must meet their standards. Though holding tanks have not yet become a requirement in Canada, They are required in the U.S., so if I don't have one, I'm screwed.

2) Having built a couple of fishing boats in the Philippines & having sailed on an aussie's boat from Darwin to Davao, I've had similar experiences to Drew, and then some. Countries are rarely interested in making things easier for the foreign cruiser/traveller. If in a country where under-the-table bribes are the norm, pay them, it'll usually cost you less in the end. The time to register an official protest is after you've left that country. The higher you go, the more it'll cost. The officials of your own embassy couldn't give a damn about you, unless you have a life-threatening situation.

3) If Drew answered the question regarding whether, or not, he was free to go for a day-sail, I missed it. If one must gamble on just sailing away, I'd suggest that they book into a really cheap accomodation, with the room paid up for at least a week past when he/she plans to attempt to run(get a receipt & carry it with you). daily local sails, prior to their run should be in ever widening arcs. Defeat GPS system, etc., so that , if caught, you can play the "I'm just some dumb foreign sailor who doesn't know where he/she is" role.

4)The last time I lived in the Philippines, I overstayed my visa, by about ten months. I thought that my "balikbayan" visa had been officially filed in Davao. When I tried to fly to Canada, viaHong Kong, from Manila, I was stopped at the airport, arrested, & taken to the Bureau of Immigration. There was an older American being held, as well, for overstaying. Basically, they wanted 4,000 Pesos to let me go. As I only had the money for my flight, I was screwed. I explained the situation, stuck to my story, was very apologetic, sucked it up &, proverbially, kissed their asses. I was eventually released. The older American kept screaming things like, "I'm an American Citizen, you can't do this to me!" Last I saw, he was in a jail cell. Don't know how long they kept him, nor what it cost him, but I'll bet it was significant. I've never met an immigration or customs officer in any country, including the U.S. and Canada, who didn't think of him/herself as Mr./Ms. Cool. The easiest way to win them over is to stroke their egos & tell them that, when you return maybe they'd be interested in going into business with you. Ask them for contact details for this same reason. It works for me, everytime. As I had done some work for my embassy while in the Philippines, I could easily have contacted the Charge d'Affaires. But I didn't because it would have pissed my keepers off & there's nothing worse than a pissed-off Customs/Immigration Officer with a gun!
That's my 2 bits.
Mike
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